I went bodysurfing in the shore break with my eight-year-old son, and he wanted to do what I was doing.
He wanted to catch the waves and ride along the face as it tubes over him within inches of the beach.
It is a ride of all but a few seconds and then bam! You hit the sand and roll up the beach, taking out unwary bathers with a beam on your face, a quick apology and then back out for another ride that is all for the thrill of a quick shot of adrenaline.
“Let’s go!” I said.
But first I gave him a few pointers. You’ve got to wait for those waves that break in at least a bit of water, not the sickly ones that crash right on the sand. If and when you hit the sand, keep your arms and legs in a crouched position like a cat. That way you’ll land safe and unscathed.
My son said, “OK,” and out we went.
A big wave came and we both turned and it was bigger than those before, and we pushed off the bottom of the ocean to ride the giant as it started to wall up and then crash.
Then I pulled back and let the beast go by.
Not my son. He went for it and skidded down the face into oblivion. My face sank as he disappeared out of sight. I searched the crashing whitewater and then watched as he came up spluttering like a drenched cat.
He shook off the water, tottered a bit and then caught my eye and smiled before pointing out beyond me.
“Here comes another!” he yelled.
Out we raced to catch it.